Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why the term "School Concert" now provokes an automatic shudder...

We went to see the school concert last night. Can you see me hiding my delight?

When I began blogging, I reviewed the last school concert we attended.

It was not the main reason that I joined the P & C, but one bonus was my influence might work on the selection of fare available for such soirees.

Of course, a lot of water has passed under that particular bridge since that decision and me and the P & C aren't spending so much time together these days - but I still try to show an interest.

Apparently there was also steak with some onion was available last night - I wouldn't know, as circumstances are such (although the promise is it will change by Friday) that frivolities like buying crap at a School Concert is currently not worked into the budget.

Otherwise, sausage on bread, softdrinks, chips and chocolate was what was available for eats.

But that is not what bugs me today.

And it isn't the fact that for six months you can ask people "what can I do" to get a vague "nothing" and then know that if you ask on the night you will be working the whole night because anyone who asked got the same response until D-day. Is the term "put your name on the roster" that hard to grasp? Well, it is if there is no (expletive deleted) roster because there are control issues involved. Not, not that at all.

Don't get me started on the petty politics of the P & C either - now is not the time of the month to see such frothing at the bit - but that is not my whinge du jour either.

No indeed, it is the fact that a perfectly fantastic concert showcasing our children was ruined by longevity.

The theme was "Vaudeville" - and do you know how much I ached for a crook or a box of tomatoes for the last hour and a half?

The seeds of doubt were planted in my mind when the new principal decided to open with a longwinded speech, but kickoff was set for 6.30 and by 6.45 we had the green light for the real entertainment of the evening.

By 7, we were starting to get (expletive deleted) off with waiting for the show to start already.

To give them credit, the first hour of the show was okay. Its always fun to watch the little kids sing and dance, and they did. The 12 inch remix of a particularly boring song with two words may not have been the ideal choice. And they might have thought to concertina these three classes into one song and dance routine rather than give us the mental room to realise that there were another 12 acts to go, and given the timing thus far we might get out by midnight.

Unfortunately, then the creativity of the children and individual teachers began to shine through.

Word to the choreographers of the 8 year old boys division - a few classes explaining the term "preparation" wouldn't go astray.

Putting the child of the P & C president and staff teacher on for a full mime sequence may have worked - if he had a routine to work with, a chorus line to play to OR indeed less than 10 minutes to fill.

Oh, and the comedy skit featuring someone elses hands and underwear jokes - the clue to a good routine is making people actually laugh, and someone should have road-tested that one.

Not that it was all bad - I mean, 'Salina's class did brilliantly - and I am pretty sure that is not just because I am her parent but because obviously some thought had gone into three of the main rules of entertainment - keep it short, keep it sharp and get on and off the stage quickly.

So the second hour was a bit up and down.

The third hour took about five hours, I swear - even the kids on stage had that "get me the (expletive deleted) out of here" glaze to their eyes - mirrored by those of the audience that were left.

Still - it was an improvement on last time - it finished at 9 rather than 10 this time around, and I had enough foresight to have a stew ready for us when we got home.

What would you sit through for you child?

What is a polite way to yank them out of the auditorium early?

How the heck are any of them going to perform at the swimming carnival today?


Jen at Semantically driven said...

Obviously our school has it right with a concert during the day for only the junior primary. And work is a really good excuse for leaving early.

Jayne said...

After 2 school concerts that went 2.5 hours over the scheduled time and my son (with 9 other kids) having to sit around in the foyer to "entertain" people coming and going we refused in the 3rd year.

David said...

Oh my goodness, I was crawling up the wall reading this, just dreading how long the third hour of the concert was for you. I hope the stew at home after was enough to put you in a good frame.

QuJaBaKa said...

I always always have a fall back plan, a securely staged retreat option, the emergency phone call on the loudly ringing cell phone is my favourite because no one can miss it and after that they just want me to leave!!
Alternatively, you can always "double book" yourself with some imaginary family thing and mention to the teacher that after child has done performance you "really must leave".
take it from the master of leaving death defying acts of boredom in one piece, its totally worth it to keep the children and me happy.

Crazed Nitwit said...

I sat through a 3 hour, 90 degrees in the gym, band/orchestra concert back when Ry was 14. it was truly a form of torture.

Brissiemum2 said...

Baaahaaaa! That was funny! I have been to and done so many school things that honestly, I could do without! But, being good parents we make the effort with a glued-on grin on our faces! Right?! Although I shamefully admit that one year I chatted at the back of the school covered area while Christmas carols night was going on (cause I was peeved that we HAD to be there!). And don't even get me started on why I do tuckshop or how many awful, boring kids' movies I've sat through over the years!

Tracey said...

The last "Concert of Excellence" at my kids' high school went on forever (and it wasn't that excellent either..) Fortunately the primary school seems to manage to keep its annual shows to a reasonable time frame.

Dance schools are the other guilty parties when it comes with not knowing how to keep their concerts to a reasonable length. Why do some kids need to be in 9 items?!!

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

oh dear was it that bad ?
I remember ... Yes , I forgot ... in three years time I have 7 years more of school concerts to look forward too .
How did the swimming go ?

Debby said...

A three hour concert - dear heavens. I begin to chafe at the one and a half hour mark, but Mr. Napolitan, our music teacher, must begin to chafe about the same point, because they are winding to a close. And no. You may not import Mr. Napolitan, one of the finest teachers our school has.

WV - belyrot. ooh. Hope that is not a reference to the school.

Pencil Writer said...

Jeanie, what a rousing, wonderful experience you had! Would that there was a time warp you could step into and outof at the appropriate moments, i.e., in for 'Salina's performance and out when done.

One day some "School" people will for sure come to understand wisdom, good planning, good execution, (and good planning) are truly a necessary part of GOOD education (and entertainment). I feel for the children. I feel for poor organizers--I won't tell you what I feel, but I feel for them nonetheless.

Jeanie, you could have volunteered to do a monolog--perhaps as the entre act--you know, to put things in perspective at the get-go. No. Maybe not. They might not have understood. *Sigh* ;-}

WV: balook. Yeah.

mommamia said...

Oh wow 3 hours! I cannot imagine nor can I imagine the kids behaving in an orderly fashion for that long.

The bane of my exsitence was dance competion. They go on for hours and hours. It is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Ours was a little on the long side this year too. We only have them every second year though so it's not too bad. :)

Melody said...

Glad it was you and not me! 3 hours?! Are you kidding me. *belch*

jeanie said...

Oh Jen - if it was the daytime experience, all those 9 to 5 ers would have missed the unique experience - equal rights to long-winded concerts, I say!

Jayne - that card has been put on the table, but you know, 'Salina does occupy a large part of the centre of our universe... We're hoping the leverage pays off in her teens.

Dave - the stew was AMAZING. We actually weren't that much up for a feast at 10, but it was worth it.

QuJaKaBa - ah, a woman with a few plans. Well worth tucking them away.

CrazedMom - hmmm, lets hope the real nasties don't use it!

BrissieMum2 - lol I find selling raffle tickets is a good way to get out of the numbness sometimes. Your hands match mine?

Tracey - oh yes, dance recitals have to feature EVERY child!

Trish - really well - she got 1st in the 25 Freestyle, and 4th in the 50 Backstroke and 25 Breaststroke.

Debby - waaah! We want Mr Neopolitan!!!

Pencil Writer - we were searching for the wormholes. Oh, and I have actually done enough on stage with poetry to know that brevity is a highly attractive commodity!!

Mommamia - we-ell, the kids had that slight mania that is the mean level of children in this day and age for a LOT of the show. There is a reason 'Salina isn't at dance school. (Softball games at this age are set timeframes).

Lightening - last year ours coincided with the opening of a building at school so daytime and we could wander in and out. My vote is for that again next year.

Melody - how old is Monet? Its all ahead of you!!!

Rootietoot said...

If my kid is in the first group to perform, we leave as soon as he's done while they're setting up for the next group. If he's in the last group, we show up late, explaining to the director that we simply can't be there earlier. As for politely leaving, well, we don't slam the door. I figure it won't matter a bit to the other kids if we aren't there.

Just-Me-Jen said...

Gods bless the music teachers at my kids' schools - they know better than to make any show that long!
Sometimes the "big" plays from Drama are 3 hours long, but they're GOOD, and there's an intermission. Poor Jeanie! That concert sounds like pure torment! Poor kids, too!